So the 2nd series of BBC’s revival of Upstairs, Downstairs premiered Sunday. It might’ve been a mistake to watch this so soon after rewatching Downton Abbey. I miss Eileen Atkins and Jean Marsh (even if Rose Buck is superfluous in the household). Dr Mottershead’s character looks like she could be a delightful pain in everyone’s ass in a completely different way then Maud was. I knew Atkins wasn’t returning and I heard about Marsh’s medical problems (though she’s supposed to appear later), but I didn’t know Ivy wasn’t coming back. Was the actress unavaible or something?
I understand that WWII is looming, but I hope it doesn’t dominate every single episode of this series like it did this one. I knew the spectre of war is always going to be hanging over since Sir Hallam works for the Foreign Office, but every plot point doesn’t need to revolve around that. Speaking of Sir Hallam; am I just imagining the HoYay betweem him and the Duke of Kent? Everytime the 2 of them are in a room together it looks like one of them is attracted to the other. Especially the Duke of Kent, who was bisexual in real life. It’s certainly a very odd way to portray the characters if they aren’t supposed to be screwing each other.
It was nice that Pamela’s storyline hasn’t been dropped. I wonder if she’ll be staying at 165 Eaton Place for awhile. I wonder if Lotte will show up again. Mr Amanjit doesn’t really have a place in the household anymore; unless Sir Hallam decides to use him as his own private secretary. It was really funny watching him vent his anger at Pritchard by using the back yard for target practice only to have to meekly surrender the gun to Lady Agnes.
And Lady Persie. I thought it was odd that they had so much trouble tracking her down. I figured that after she went to Germany Sir Hallam was paying her some kind of allowance to keep her out of the UK (ala the Duke of Windsor). But if that was the case it would’ve been easier to track her down. It does look she’ll be coming back home later on, but will she be reformed or still an loyal facsist when war finally breaks out? I have a feeling that she’ll get pregnant before the series ends and her sister is either going to have to procure her an abortion (a trivial matter for ladies of their class) or pass the kid off as her own.
So they’re setting up Lady Agnes for an affiar with a Jewish millionaire from the States? The subplot with Mrs Thakery & her nephew was fairly predictable, but it seems out of character to be feeding her relatives that much out of the household account (& one would think somebody would’ve had remembered to take her off those accounts after she quit). Lady Pepsie has a dark terrible secret; a pregnancy would be so obvious I’d be surprised if that was the case.
Since Blanche is apparently a lesbian Auntie Mame (right down to taking her nephew to a nudist colony) they probally won’t go the down low route with Sir Hallam. Did the UK even have nudist colonies in the 1920s (I knew Germany did)? It was nice seeing Lotte again; how old is she anyway? I wonder if she’s old enough to end up as one of those German speaking WAAFs who sent Luftwaffe pilots to their deaths with fake instructions.
Time to brush up on the history of Naturism–which apparently started in Germany. (Note: nekkid pictures at the link!)
I loved the original Upstairs/Downstairs & found the revival rushed but not without interest. Caitlin Moran, behind the Times paywall, pointed out that the first series of the revival wasn’t really a failure–ratings weren’t bad & it was nominated for awards…
(Boy, it was fun reading her take on the disappointing last series of Downton Abbey–although she enjoyed the Christmas show.) However, I still have TunnelBear & may check out U/D before it returns to PBS… (When?)
Tonight, my PBS station (in the throes of fundraising) will show The Story of the Costume Drama…
Well Sir Hallam is very definately straight, it looks like he and Lady Persie are being set up for an affair. I found Lady Agnes reaction to the Girls Society women interesting. :dubious: It was bizarre how she & the staff reacted and defered to her like she was a government inspector of some kind.
I was looking forward to seeing Jean Marsh again, but this was really sad. If my math is right Rose Buck in in her late 60s or early 70s by 1939. That’s really old to still be working as a housekeeper/lady’s maid. And the Hollands are footing the bill for her treatment, right? She had a private room which seams freakishly unlikely if she were in a state sanitorium or charity facility.
I hate to admit it, but I still feel sorry for Lady Persie. She’d a spoiled, unlikelable brat thank’s to her family. Nobody bothered to give her any kind of useful education or life skills. It’s kinda tragic. She’s like a poor Princess Margaret.
Blanche’s subplot was fairly predictable. Of course this was going end badly. Would’ve been nice if they could’ve work a reference to the Duke of Kent’s proclivities into the episode. And while Beryl did have a right to complain about being over worked, her duties as a lady’s maid are a much closer match to her career goals and could result in a very valuable reference when she’s trying to get her apprenticeship.
I have to say, I think if the just go ahead and ditch the old Upstairs Downstairs premise/challenging Downton Abbey, the pre WWII era and its attendent high society actions make it a LOT more interesting.
The lesbian affair was quite interesting and FWIW, I thought Blanche’s response was unrealistic for the time, she is shocked her lover actually loves her children and is “enthralled” with her husband. IRL a woman like that in that era would have jumped at having that cottage.
I may fire up TunnelBear to catch a glimpse of the series before its US showing. Especially because that is far away…
Although I’ve heard the reservations about this series/season, I’m still interested. For one reason: It’s set in London. Even in the Original Upstairs/Downstairs, we got more hints of what was going on in the outside world! Politically, intellectually, etc.
Downton is all about That Giant House & those who dwell therein. They have a London place but, perhaps for budgetary reasons, we’ve seen very little about our characters in the big city.
Gee, I wonder if the Duke of Kent knows on of his entourage is soliciting young men for sex. It’s a shame the affair between Lady Agnes & Casper fizzled out, but I also found it unbelievable that she didn’t grasp the implications of what she was doing or how Sir Hallam would react. :dubious: I’ve also stopped feeling sorry for Lady Persie; she’s may be psychologically damaged, but she was always kind of a bitch. I wonder if the thing between Mr Amanjeet & Mrs Fuller (Lotte’s headmistress?) will go anywhere. I think that’s a hell of alot more interesting than what’s going on between Harry & Beryl. Sucks to be Johnny, off to war and the closest thing’s he’s gotten to a love interest this series a prince he doesn’t want.
Lady Persie’s a German spy? :eek: She’s even dumber and eviler than I thought. I really hope she get’s her comeputance next episode. How ironic would it be if she died in the first raid? Or was set upon by a mob of WWI spinsters & widows. I loved Sir Hallam’s reaction as he slowly realized what she’s been doing. He deserves to be blackmails. A 100 guineas = 2,100 shillings = £105, right? How much is that in today’s money?
Well the suicide was obvious the moment we saw the gun; though the exact method was a bit of a surprise. The Spargos aren’t headed to America after; he’ll end up in the Army & Beryl probally leaving service for a war job (or even joining one of the women’s services herself). I did like how she put Lady Agnes in her place; as well as Lady Agnes reaction to the affair. I wonder what Mrs Thackery & Eunice would’ve ended up doing. Eunice could also end up leaving the house & even joing the ATS later, but Mrs Thackery? Running a canteen perhaps? Jean Marsh’s scenes were all very sad. I got the impression that the actress was even frailer than her character. I highly doubt there’ll be a series 3, and I have no desire to see one.